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Full text of "Flora Indica Vol-I"

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INTRODUCTORY  ESSAY.                               243
Rubiacea, Eugenia, Gouania, and with occasionally immense
quantities of Alpiniay more rarely Rosa involucrata, Calamus
Rotang, and in sandy places Tamarix.
Convolvuli, a few Asclepiaehee, Cucwrbitacea, and all the
weeds of Bengal, abound in favourable situations; and by
the villages a few scattered figs, clumps of bamboo, mango,
and Areca, are all seen, though rarely.
The valley of the Surma is separated from that of Manipur
by a meridional range of moderate elevation, which is con-
tinued to the southward, and separates Tippera, Chittagong,
and Aracan from the kingdom of Ava. The nature and
elevation of the axis of this range are unknown, but its ra-
mifications extend to the sea-coast, and are separated by cul-
tivated valleys, the direction of which is in general south-
westerly or nearly due south. These ranges appear to in-
crease in elevation as we proceed southward, but our know-
ledge of them is very imperfect. Blue Mountain, which lies
nearly due west of Chittagong, is said to attain the consider-,
able elevation of 8000 feet, and a peak on the same range
forty miles to the south-west, in lat. 22, is elevated (accord-
ing to Wilcox's map) 3100 feet. Sitakund, thirty miles north
of Chittagong, has an elevation of 1140 feet.
The provinces of lippera and Chittagong are throughout
hilly. Along the sea-coast there is in general .a narrow belt
of level ground, and the basins of the rivers are usually wide
and well cultivated for a considerable distance inland. In the
upper part of their course, however, they are hemmed in by
hills, and a broad belt of impenetrable forest occup the in-
terior, and forms an impassable boundary between the British
territories and those of Ava. The climate is similar to that
of Bengal. From the proximity of the sea and the situation
within the tropic, the winter is very mild, and the atmosphere
always humid. The rain-fall during the monsoon is jibout the
same as in Bengal, at least ou the sca-coa>t and in its inime-